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Statement: Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

Statement by spokesperson from Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) spokesperson.

Under Queensland Legislation the DNRME is the compliance body for the illegal harvesting of water which can incur a maximum penalty of $217,365.75 for an individual and five times that amount for a corporation, if taken to court.

DNRME is responsible for investigating potential instances of unauthorised water harvesting that are reported or detected. DNRME has not received any complaints or notifications alleging that the owners of the Kia Ora or Clyde properties are illegally harvesting any flood water.

When the owners of the Kia Ora and Clyde properties sold their water licences to the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in 2017, DNRME required the owners of the properties to undertake steps to ensure that the water was unable to be taken after the transfer was completed.

The owners of the Kia Ora and Clyde properties provided reports certified by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland confirming the decommissioning works had been carried out. Due to privacy considerations, it is not appropriate for DNRME to supply copies of their reports without their permission.

DNRME officials have visited both properties a number of times since the sale process was completed.  We can confirm that works detailed in the independent report were conducted and included the below.

To allow overland flow water (floodwater from the Balonne River) to pass through Munya Lake and constructed storages, Kia Ora decommissioning works included:

  • Create a bywash around gate controlled pipes which otherwise would allow overland flow water to enter Lake and storages.
  • Create breaches in storages and remove a licenced embankment to allow overland flow water to pass through storages.
  • Licence to take water from Munya Lake repealed to ensure no authorised consumptive take of overland water entering Lake.To exclude overland flow water from being taken into constructed storages, Clyde decommissioning works included:
  • Remove inlet pipes to ensure exclude overland water entering constructed storages from floodplain.
  • Close of storage with embankment to exclude overland water entering constructed storages from floodplain.
  • Disable control gates in the closed position on inlet pipe to exclude overland water entering constructed storage from floodplain.